As a minor, ran away to St. Mary's Island, GA to elope with Dylan Shayne Lewis [last week of April 1990]
Following the tragic death of her mother, a very young Samantha Marler moved to Arizona with her father to alleviate her asthma. In 1989, a teenaged Sam returned to Springfield to attend Alan-Michael Spaulding's wedding to Harley Cooper. A sweet uncomplicated girl, Sam liked the town and decided to stay at her Uncle Ross's carriage house. She befriended Harley and met ex-con Dylan with whom she was immediately attracted to. Dylan was unlike any man Sam had ever met and Sam was eager to find out more about him. She then anonymously started to work with him at the Lemay family as nanny for his daughter, Susan, whom Harley given up for adoption at birth. Working at the Lemays, Sam started to see a sensitive side to Dylan that so few did. When Dylan was mistakenly accused of kidnapping Susan, Sam ran away with him and, in the process, the pair discovered that Dylan was actually the son of Reva Shayne and Billy Lewis. About this time, Dylan broke up with Harley, so Dylan and Sam started dating. In 1990, when Justin learned of the relationship, he returned to Springfield to forbid them to see each other since Sam was underage and he disapproved of Dylan’s criminal past. But Sam was only more determined and, not long after, the pair decided that they couldn't live without one another and made plans to elope. Before they were able to marry, they were found by their families and brought home. Soon after, Reva, on vacation in Florida with her family, arranged for Dylan and Sam to meet there. Unfortunately, due to severe postpartum depression, an unstable Reva drove over a bridge with Sam and Dylan in her car. When Reva threw Dylan from the car to safety, Sam realized she was in danger, so she threw herself out of the car. While Reva was presumed dead, Sam became paralyzed and was devastated. When Dylan supported Sam, Justin finally realized Dylan's good nature and accepted him. Weeks later, when Sam turned 18, Dylan proposed marriage but due to her paralysis, she refused since she didn't want to be a burden to him. Luckily, Justin's friend, Dr. Daniel St. John, whom Sam didn't like at first, encouraged her and, in February 1991, he risked a dangerous operation, so Sam was able to walk again. She then fell in love with Daniel and when Dylan realized this, he broke up with her. Daniel though wasn't interested in Sam since she was too young for him and he was in love with Holly Lindsey.
With her father now back in India, Sam investigated Daniel's past and when she found out his ex-fiancée was once killed in a mysterious car accident, she visited the victim’s sister, Jean Wetherill, in Boston. Jean blamed Daniel for her sister's death but had no evidence against him. Thanks to Roger Thorpe, she soon arrived in Springfield to get revenge on Daniel and when she was murdered, Sam blamed herself. In early 1992, Sam caught Daniel in a lie about his sister-in-law and then he became verbally abusive. She shared the information with her friend, cop in training Harley Davidson Cooper, and the two started their own investigation. Finally, Daniel kidnapped Holly and was killed by Roger, so no one ever discovered if Daniel was actually responsible for his ex-fiancée's death. Not long after, Sam decided to focus on becoming a lawyer like Ross and left Springfield for long school. The last we'd heard she'd moved near her father.